In many regions, the market for property insurance for low-income segments is relatively nascent, with other types of insurance, such as life insurance, being better known and utilised. This is the case in Africa where, according to the 2021 Landscape of Microinsurance study
, only 4 per cent of reported products were for property lines of inclusive insurance, compared to 24 per cent for funeral and 18 per cent for life. Despite the current lack in supply and demand, the need for property insurance for underserved market segments is clear, especially given increased risks to property from climate change. This is the case for renters, property owners and those who build their own homes incrementally over many years. Another underserved and relevant market segment is micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), most of which frequently lack property insurance for both fixed assets (such as land, buildings and equipment) and movable assets (such as stock).
In partnership with Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, the ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility will stimulate product innovation. The partnership will specifically support the development of new property insurance solutions for the low-income and underserved market segments, initially in Kenya.
Activities of the project under the partnership include:
- Working with local stakeholders to understand the demand and supply of inclusive property insurance solutions in Kenya, with a focus on understanding barriers.
- Providing technical assistance, supporting partners through the product innovation cycle, building capacity and establishing key partnerships.
- Testing the latest applicable insurtech solutions, among other approaches, for viability as part of the inclusive property insurance solution(s).
- Identifying and establishing suitable partnerships with alternative distribution channels and possibly bundling other risk management solutions.
- Ensuring gender mainstreaming in the project.
- Identifying and implementing changes to business models or organizational structures that may be required to deliver new products.
- Documenting and sharing lessons learned, using the Facility’s knowledge tools, including publications, case briefs, trainings and emerging insights.